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How a Federal Government Shutdown Could Affect Agriculture

As U.S. House and U.S. Senate leadership still try to reach an agreement on a short-term funding measure to avert a partial government shutdown, we thought it might be helpful to outline impacts of a shutdown for agriculture. If a shutdown were to occur, there would likely be additional guidance from various agencies. MCGA will post updates as they become available.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • USDA Rural Development, Natural Resources Conservation Services, and state and local Farm Service Agency offices would close. FSA would not be able to do any sign-ups, acre reporting, processing, or payments, including farm loan applications and processing.
  • The Risk Management Agency would also likely close. As outlined in a memo to insurance providers at the start of a previous shutdown, RMA staff would not be available to provide guidance to insurers or farmers. RMA would not maintain and support policy processing and acceptance for insurance providers, nor would RMA make any reimbursements to insurance companies. Private companies could continue to pay insurance indemnities.
  • The Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) would not publish various market and data reports. The National Agriculture Statistics Service would likely delay or cancel various data releases and reports. Weekly crop reports would not be issued, and depending how long the shutdown lasts, the monthly WASDE reports could also be impacted.
  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) employees who work in export certifications and whose salaries are covered by user fees (such as export certifications) would remain operational. Other employees, such as those at certain research facilities and overseas, may be considered essential and not be furloughed.
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